Starbucks Expands Olive Oil-Infused Coffee Line to U.S. Stores

Partana extra virgin olive oil, used to brew the Oleato, will also be sold separately in participating stores.
By Daniel Dawson
Mar. 23, 2023 16:36 UTC

After intro­duc­ing its line of olive oil-infused cof­fee drinks in Italy, Starbucks has announced it will launch its Oleato range across 550 loca­tions in the United States on March 27.

Patrons at select loca­tions in Chicago, New York City and Seattle can already sam­ple five new hot and cold bev­er­ages. Later, more cafés in Seattle and Los Angeles will serve Oleato.

According to interim chief exec­u­tive Howard Schultz, Oleato drinks are brewed using Nocellara del Belice extra vir­gin olive oil sourced from Partanna, Sicily.

See Also:Healthy Compounds in EVOO Still Present After Exposure to Heat

Earlier this month, a spokesman for Starbucks told Olive Oil Times that the com­pany would also use Paratana olive oil to brew Oleato drinks at its loca­tions in the United States.

In a press release on its web­site, Starbucks said Partana extra vir­gin olive oil will also be avail­able to pur­chase at loca­tions serv­ing the bev­er­ages.

The deci­sion to blend two stal­warts of Italian food cul­ture – cof­fee and olive oil – came after the global cof­fee giant missed expec­ta­tions in its first-quar­ter earn­ings in February.

Analysts had antic­i­pated the Seattle-based com­pany to gen­er­ate $8.78 bil­lion in rev­enue, with the com­pany miss­ing the tar­get by $70 mil­lion. The rev­enue decline was mainly attrib­uted to lock­downs in China, which shut­tered more than 1,800 of its 6,090 stores.

We posted [these] strong results despite chal­leng­ing global con­sumer and infla­tion­ary envi­ron­ments, a soft quar­ter for retail over­all and the unprece­dented, Covid-related head­winds that unfolded in China in Q1,” Schultz said.

Some ana­lysts see the part­ner­ship between Starbucks and Oleificio Asaro, its pro­ducer part­ner, as a nec­es­sary strat­egy for global brands com­pet­ing to keep cus­tomers in an increas­ingly com­pet­i­tive food ser­vice envi­ron­ment amid the back­drop of eco­nomic uncer­tainty.

Depending on how the bev­er­ages are received in the United States and Italy, the com­pany plans to intro­duce Oleato to spe­cific loca­tions in the United Kingdom, Japan and the Middle East later this year.

While Starbucks hopes that the unique com­bi­na­tion will pique cus­tomers’ inter­est world­wide, experts in Italy also expect the part­ner­ship to boost the inter­na­tional pro­file of the coun­try’s olive oils.

Should the cof­fee-extra vir­gin olive oil mix achieve a high level of sat­is­fac­tion among con­sumers, then its pos­i­tive effect will be even more ampli­fied,” Denis Pantini, head of the agri­food busi­ness unit at Nomisma, a con­sult­ing firm, told Olive Oil Times ear­lier this month.

For sure, it could win the inter­est of those who might still be hes­i­tant to con­sume a healthy prod­uct such as olive oil,” he con­cluded.


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